For those of you who have followed Places In The Father’s Heart for very long, you know about  some of the financial struggles we have been in over the years.  Long before we knew the Lord and during Roger’s days working in Parks and Recreation, we prospered greatly in the financial area.  We weren’t rich by any stretch, but we did own our own home, drive two vehicles and experienced great promotion in our work places. 

            When we stepped out into ministry, full of faith and zeal, our expectations were that the Lord would provide for us in the same way we had lived in the world.  We had some difficult lessons to learn and some great and marvelous miracles to experience.  There were many lean years and times when we didn’t know where our next meal would come from; many times when we experienced vehicle problems; and times when we lived in a camper in a friends’ pasture!  These times were difficult and seemed like they would never end.  But GOD has been faithful!  Through these times we have learned the lessons of Paul…we know how to abound in fruitful times and how to rest confidently in the lean times.  Father has never failed us! 

            Perhaps the most difficult time we went through financially was when we endured a very painful personal bankruptcy.  All along we were striving (and I do mean striving!) to hear God’s voice, and to be obedient to all He was asking of us.  The day we left the bankruptcy court was one of the darkest days of our lives.  We felt we had totally failed.  But GOD! 

            One day after moving to South Carolina, Rog was on the porch praying.  He asked Father, “Daddy, if at some point You think I am ready, I would like for You to tell me why Gerri and I had to go through the bankruptcy.” 

            Immediately Father answered, “Son, there were two reasons you needed to go through this experience.  Neither of them had to do with money.  I needed to teach you something that I could not teach you any other way.”

            Reason #1:  I needed to deal with the pride of your reputation.

            Reason #2:  I needed to deal with the fact that you got angry with Me every time I didn’t do things the way you expected Me to.

            This experience, while it was one of the most painful we have ever been through, taught us some of the best lessons we have learned in Him.  All along this part of our journey financially, we continued to press into Him, knowing that there were answers to our situation.  In the process, we discovered a generational curse in Roger’s family line that was a major stronghold in our lives.  When we dealt with this curse, it was nearly another year of pressing into Daddy before we began to see some breakthrough.  Today we are experiencing freedom that we never thought was possible.  No, we aren’t rich, but we have seen awesome miracles with regard to our finances.  We have seen Father shine His favor upon us in so many ways.  We are now experiencing peace and rest with regard to money!

            Many of the clients we pray with in healing prayer ministry come to us with financial issues.

It seems to just go with the territory when we need healing.  Often we find that they are like we were, at the very end of their rope financially and they don’t know how to hang on any longer.  Been there?

One of the things that often happens is that the enemy begins to whisper to them that they should stop their giving.  Friends, that is EATING YOUR OWN SEED!  No farmer would ever do that because there would not be a next year’s crop! 

            Within the church today we have been manipulated and coerced to give until it sickens the heart of our Father.   I ask you where is the cheerful giver the Word talks about?   There are such extremes for us to battle, aren’t there? 

            Not long ago Father spoke to us clearly, “I am not interested in your 10% mentality.”  That got our attention.  He said, “I want it ALL.  I want your heart so in tune with My heart that when I tell you to give this amount here or that amount there, you will just simply obey Me.”  What we found when we began to really carefully listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our giving was they He really surprised us with His direction.  Sometimes He’s spoken to help the elderly lady in the Wal Mart check out who is struggling with paying for her groceries.  Sometimes He’s spoken to us to go through the MacDonald’s drive through and pay for the person’s order in the line behind us!  Wow!  What a hoot it is to just be free to give what and where He says to give.  Of course, we also give in response the  needs we see within the church as well.   Really it’s pretty simple.  Just go out and build the Kingdom around you under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  That may be within your church body and it may not.  Father will not be put in our religious boxes, rather He loves it when you break those boxes you or others have tried to put Him in!

            One final thing and probably the most important part of this article is that we have NEVER eaten our seed.  Every gift we have given has been seed sown into His Kingdom for Him.  Sometimes that hasn’t looked just that way we would have thought, but He has always used it in our lives.  For example, last year we were contacted by a spiritual father.  We’d been sowing into his ministry for years.  He said that he’d been praying for us and that Father had instructed him to tell us that the gift we were sending to him each month was to be re-directed.  Father told him that he was to instruct us to take the monthly gift we were sending to him and give it to ourselves for the next year!  He said, “Use it for yourselves…do things that you wouldn’t normally get to do…have fun and receive this gift from Father JOYFULLY!”

            What do you think our first reaction was?  We were shocked!  But when we calmed down, we heard the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit say, “This is a love gift from Father.  Enjoy it.”  And we have.  This year it has been like a continual shower of blessing to us.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and liberty that has come by learning each month to receive this gift from Father, knowing that He is enjoying watching us enjoy it!  We realized that we had earned Father’s trust over the years because we had not eaten our own seed.  We’d been faithful to tithe when that was all we knew.  We’d been faithful to give over and above the tithe when we felt the nudge to do so.  We’d been faithful to give to the poor, and we’d been faithful to give to our spiritual fathers who have sown greatly into our lives over 30+ years.   A cautious warning here…if you have not proven yourself faithful in the little things with respect to finances, do not expect that Father will bless you with this kind of favor or this kind of direction.  It has taken us years of hard work and faithful stewardship to reach this point.  What I am saying is BE FAITHFUL AS HE IS FAITHFUL and your reward will be great here on earth…just as it is in Heaven!

            So my friend, if you are struggling financially, there is only one sure place to turn.  Turn your heart to your Father.  Ask Him to remove any strongholds, generational curses and/or wrong thinking in your life with respect to financial matters.  Ask Him to reveal to you the lies you live by concerning money.  Seek the help of prayer ministers who may be able to help you see where you need healing and most of all DON’T EAT YOUR OWN SEED!